Tag Archives: fast

Tech = Baal (Re: Idol worship)

Personal Handy-phone System mobiles and modems...

Baal worship...new skool

Baal worship...old school

TECH = Baal. True or false?

We’d like to think idol worship isn’t something we practice. We don’t bow down to manmade gods like the foolish people of old we read of in the Bible, right?

Not so fast. (I think we do)

Probably, if we can’t live without something invented in the last 150 years, it qualifies as an idol–Yes. A full-tilt false god.

If we have a trust and loyalty to something we assume is a necessity, I think we should challenge this devotion.

Here’s the ugly truth. You probably worship your computer, your Apple product, your GPS, your phone, or your car. (Our association with technology is the modern equivalent of Old Testament style idolatry.)

A “long ago” 2007 British study of 1,256 people showed that 1/3 of those asked would pass on $2 million to keep their cell phone. 85 percent of those studied said that having a mobile phone was “vital to maintaining their quality of life.” The statistics are likely far higher now, almost 4 years later.

So, it’s simple. Tech = Baal.
Now, will you give up your false god?

At first we rebuff this allegation of idol worship. We’ll think of ways that the things we adore are for safety, common sense practicality, or we’ll come up with a rationalization for why our devotion isn’t really so bad.

The prevailing idea is that if the technology is available, there’s a kind of moral imperative to utilize it. “If it’s possible–it should been done.” Hence, things like octoplets, an artist being fitted with digital camera skull implant, and decades-long life support situations happen. (Can you think of another gross abuse of technology?)

What of ourselves is lost because of these unnatural loyalties?
Probably, a basic part of our humanity.
Sound overblown?
Let’s be serious: We become what we serve. We are enslaved to what we worship. What are the repercussions for serving technology?

Here’s a case in point:

It seems no one (especially under a certain age[?]) can image going without a mobile phone, or internet capabilities for a few hours, let alone a few days. Could you give up technology that’s been created within the last fifty years for a full week? Would it cramp your style, and make you grouchy? (Signs say yes…that’s old school tech…the 8 Ball.)

281 million youth have cell phones. I admit I have withdrawal symptoms without access to the internet for more than a day. I get twitchy. It’s uncomfortable. And no, I don’t like it.

So, I think we have to be honest and address this. What do you think about it? When have you worshiped technology? What do you think you do about it?

Is there a Christian spiritual practice that can help us?

Absolutely. It’s called fasting. Prayer, fasting, and giving to the poor are the pinnacle of Kingdom of God living, according to Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Without these things, we are not living as a follower of Christ as he laid it out.

A Tech Fast should be part of your spiritual practice, because it will get your attention better than most things will. This will create growth and maturity.

Fasting challenges our loyalties.
(Read that again)
When we desire the thing we fast from, it creates a space to concentrate and reflect. It re-proritizes our habits, calls them into question, and helps us sift through the what we we should hold dear versus what should be leashed and subdued. When the pang to digitally connect, shout out our thoughts to the masses, or get instant information strikes, we can train our hearts as we place prayer and worship in that void that feels like need. The point isn’t to prove our righteousness by going without, but rather to create time and space for heightened refocus and Christian spiritual practice. God has us engage in fasting for our benefit, not his. It’s a training method…a.k.a. a disciplineIt’s a command to fast. (Sorry to break this to you.)

BUT GOOD NEWS: The effect is refreshment, and quite likely a more informed outlook on our lives.

Will you take the JANUARY TECH CHALLENGE with me? Kick the new year off on a new foot. Between now and the end of January, fast 3 times from technology. Start off with a few hours, or half of a day (if you’re ready for THAT-gulp), and try to build up to 2-5 days by the end.

Feedback appreciated on this. Thanks.

God Bless you.
Lisa

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Challenge: To not make haste

Chapter 5 of John Ortberg‘s book, “The Life You Always Wanted”, is called, “The Practice of ‘Slowing’.” He details a discipline, or spiritual way, of living an unhurried life. As a way to challenge the typical tendency to rush, Ortberg challenges his readers to look for the longest checkout line, and wait in that one. Sounds frustrating, right? The idea is to challenge how one views time, actions, and life as a whole.

John’s experiment gives a person a jump start strategy to begin to enjoy all of life, even the little things that get rushy. No part of living is wasted. Something that was once frustrating can actually turn into a positive. Instead of an urgent hardship, the experience is controlled by the person, rather than happening to them.  It is also experienced for it’s own benefit, not just as a means to something else.  

Regarding time and busyness: The practice moves the practitioner away from being a habitual slave to urgency, and a indentured servant to the clock. As it turns out, an unhurried life will create more opportunities than one ever thought possible. Creating cushions of time is even likely to save one time, and establish invaluable connections, not possible for a routinely rushed individual.

Boiling it down, “being unhurried” is to say one is, “moving, acting, and existing without urgency or haste.” In an emergency, this way must be abandoned for a time. But, in normal circumstances, why spend life so quickly, since we can’t get it back?

Things once unnoticeable, become things such as pleasant surprises, little awakenings, newfound interactions, joys, plus experiences and insights aplenty. When we plan to give ourselves extra time to experience an unhurried life, or at least, far larger chunks of it unhurried compared to before, we enjoy more peace of mind, and well-being.

I’ve personally found it’s also a wonderful surprise to hear more Divine “whispers,” and see more Divine “appointments” placed in our path, once we sideline our hurried manner, and ease into a more organic way of living.

Try John’s checkout line experiment, at least once. If you do, please leave a reply about it. (Did it make you insane, or was it valuable?) And-if you do it more than 3 times, in two weeks, I’d really like to hear if it’s changed anything for you. I have a new contact page if you’d prefer that method, or just leave a comment below.

Thanks.

Have a slower day 🙂